Can I Give My Baby Chamomile Tea?

Can I give my baby chamomile tea?The health benefits of chamomile tea are pretty well established, but is it something that is healthy for baby too?

As parents, we often wonder when our child is at the correct age to start eating certain foods or drinking certain drinks. Some parents stick to all the books and research and give their child only what they are told.

Others may go off the path and give their child certain foods or drinks when they believe their child is ready. While you are your child’s parent, and you should know what is best for your child, sometimes it is always best to first consult with a doctor.

Unfortunately, we are raising our children in a world where strangers feel it is necessary and acceptable to offer us their advice on how to raise our children. While you can snub them off or take their advice politely, it is not in your best interest to believe everything your mother or grandmother tells you. While some things were perfectly acceptable when we were children, safety concerns and laws have changed, and more research has been done on certain topics. One of these topics is giving your baby chamomile tea.

Can I Give My Baby Chamomile Tea? Answer: Not Recommended or Needed

Back in the day, tea was believed to help cure babies who suffer from digestive problems, such as reflux or colic. In fact, giving a baby herbal tea is still a common practice in some parts of the world. However, research has shown that chamomile tea—or any type of tea—is not healthy for our children to consume.

As babies, our children need a great amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for healthy growth and development. Before our child’s first birthday, these essential vitamins and nutrients are provided in the form of breast milk or formula. While our children should also consume fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods when they are ready for solids, these foods do not provide the essential amount of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy growth in our children.

Also, before your child is over six months of age, he or she does not need to consume any supplemental water or juice. All of the liquid your child needs to be healthy and to quench thirst is their regular consumption of breast milk or formula. Giving your baby chamomile tea before they are six months of age could result in an over-consumption of water, or water poisoning.

Even after your child is six months of age, they still do not need to consume much supplemental fluids. Some doctors may recommend giving your child water or juice just to become introduced to new liquids. Tea should only be introduced to your child when he or she is old enough and after you first consult with your child’s doctor.

Tea is also known to limit your baby’s intake of iron. Your baby needs the correct amount of iron for healthy growth and development. Iron in the body is used to help supply oxygen throughout your baby’s body, and it is also an essential part in the development and functionality of your baby’s brain. Children who do not receive enough iron can have long-term learning problems.

Some tea also contains excess sugar that your baby does not need to consume. Consuming too many sugary foods or drinks can have negative results on your child’s teeth as well as their weight. Your baby does not need any extra calories that are provided through sugary foods and drinks. The calories found in sugar do not have any health benefits, and are more of a risk than a reward.

Remember, children under six months of age do not require any additional intakes of water. They receive the correct amount of water they need for thirst, growth and development through regular consumption of breast milk or formula. While we as adults may enjoy a nice cup of tea, it is not recommended to give to your child. Not only does your child not need the extra fluids, but tea can also decrease the amount of iron your baby’s body receives. Your baby needs a good amount of iron for healthy growth and development. Tea may also contain excess sugars, which are not needed in your baby’s diet.

As always, if you have any questions about chamomile tea, giving tea or any other form of supplemental liquid to your child, or knowing when your child could start having tea, it is best to consult your child’s physician. He or she will be able to answer your questions and discuss your concerns in more thorough detail.

Add Your Own Answer to Can I Give My Chamomile Tea? Below

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

J. Gordon November 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

Yes, you may be correct in your assertion that tea blocks absorption of iron especially in babies. However, you are mistaken to apply this notion to chamomile tea as it is not a true “tea”. Chamomile flowers, and all herbal tea for that matter, are “infusions” or “tisanes” and not tea because they do not contain the tea plant known as “Camellia sinensis”. Also, the idea that tea contains sugar is misleading. You should make it clear that “bottled” teas (especially in the U.S.) most likely contain sugar (unless they say “diet”, which confounds me!), but if you infuse it yourself, either teabags or loose tea, there is only sugar if you put it in yourself. Also, I have never seen bottled chamomile in the U.S. and I would imagine that when people think of chamomile tea that they would make it themselves. I also wouldn’t imagine that the first thing that people would give their babies is Lipton Iced Tea from the store. One more thing to consider is that in Asia, people commonly give tea to young children. In fact, in Japan they sell tea (green tea, roasted green tea or Hojicha, and Mugi or barley tea) for babies (usually over six months, you got that right), which is of course watered down and no sugar (you almost NEVER see sugar in those teas, even for adults). Sorry if I am coming off hyper-critical, and I know that you are not a medical doctor (neither am I), but like you said there is a lot of bad advice out there as well as a lot of research. Just make sure you do yours so as to not to add to the misinformation out there in the blogosphere. – With sincere regards.

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Nikki January 12, 2014 at 12:22 am

Agreed wholeheartedly with the above commenter!

You are assuming that I am buying tea from a store, already containing sugar. Also not only is chamomile not a true tea, and not only does it not contain caffeine, but it is actually a very mild sedative and can be used to calm anxiety. I think it would fall into a different category.

I agree that nothing should be given before six months (as the common literature also states), but one might also take into consideration that chamomile could be added to a formula mix which would not interfere with water intake. Adding to the fact that it does not contain the chemical that interferes with water absorption.

I am also not a doctor, just thought I would add to the things to consider :)

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